Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Change and decay by Sue Russell

As Georgina commented a couple of days ago, better heads than mine have offered posts on seasonal themes, so I thought I would go off at a tangent (nothing unusual there.) I've been thinking about change, and my own attitude to it, as well as that of others.
Many people claim to dislike, even fear, change. Not so long ago I would have (secretly, for fear of seeming insensitive) thought this attitude lacking in robustness, not to say craven. Change is not only inevitable, but often enough a good thing, to be if not embraced then handled with resolve.
It's not as if I have never experienced change for the worse. I have, and some of the changes were engineered by me, often out of sheer boredom with the status quo. Perhaps it was the disastrous fallout from some of these events that has made me more cautious (or cowardly.) Or it may be that as I get older the changes do seem to be for the worse rather than for the better - friends become ill, lose function, die. Nevertheless for me this past year has seen some good change, and I am very thankful.
Looking at the bigger picture,  recently there have been global changes which look, at least on the surface, potentially catastrophic. For many  the catastrophes are actual, not potential, as for the  thousands of displaced people that nobody wants. And then there are the scandals financial and moral; politics in disarray; crime; terrible accidents; and so on.
I wondered what, as Christians, our attitude to change should be. Historically it has often been Christians who have laboured and lobbied for change over many years to right wrongs and to create better conditions for their fellows. Today I don't doubt that many of you are working for that kind of good change.
Change is in the fabric of creation: the seasons change, and while spring follows winter in repeating rhythm no two springs are exactly alike. Each living thing grows, develops and dies. In the words of the old hymn, 'Change and decay in all around I see...' Change is essential for life, it would seem; and yet many hide from it, instead of trusting God to bring about the best outcome. In Malachi 3 verse 6 we read: 'I am the Lord, and I do not change. And so you, the descendants of Jacob, are not yet completely lost.' Words of assurance - but note that little word 'yet.' We perhaps should be taking the opportunity, while we have it, of making necessary changes in our own spheres of activity.
I am learning to trust God more, and myself less. It isn't easy, even though I know he is infinitely better at organising things for good than I can ever be. He has, of course, that eternal perspective and complete knowledge which I shall always lack. And as others suffer unwelcome changes, I am thankful for every day that I wake up breathing. I am trying to divert my need to challenge the status quo, rock the boat, stir the pot, into harmless channels: reinventing the garden, for example. The big things are too big for one very limited individual: those I am happy to leave to God. In the words of the psalm, 'My mind and my body may grow weak, but God is my strength; he is all I ever need.'
How do you feel about change?

My latest novel, 'A Vision of Locusts,' published by Instant Apostle,was released in October.


  1. Generally I'm OK with change as I've learnt to trust God who knows what is best for me. I'm so glad I can leave the future in his hands as it means I can worry less, knowing that he is in control.

  2. Ah, great post and very apposite to me at the moment. Thank you Sue for your wisdom and insight. Happy Christmas! X